Mar 13, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini forward Nnanna Egwu (32) takes a shot against Indiana Hoosiers forward Noah Vonleh (1) in the first round of the Big Ten college basketball tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Utah Jazz: Maximizing the NBA Draft


With the NBA Draft quickly approaching potential trades, mock drafts, and other rumors have began to increase. I believe maximizing the NBA Draft this year for the Jazz could be done in a few different ways. The first I won’t discuss much, as I do not believe it holds much merit and was simply thrown out there as a what if situation. Chad Ford conducts a “chat wrap” each week, fielding questions from fans. He was asked a couple weeks ago about the Jazz moving up to the 1st pick and gave a couple of trade scenarios. One being the 5th pick and Favors. I don’t like that pick at all so I won’t expand elaborate more than saying it was one. The other was after the draft, when free agency opens up to do a sign and trade with Hayward and package him with Kanter for the 1st pick. This would allow the jazz to keep the 5th pick and upgrade both the PF and SF positions. However, again I do not see that trade being realistic. I just think it is a really cool idea and wanted to throw that out there.

Personally I think there are two realistic scenarios in which the Jazz can maximize the available talent in this years draft. The direction the Jazz take their pick(s) will be highly influenced by what the Magic do with the 4th pick. It is well known the Magic think very highly of Marcus Smart. They loved his last year and still think very highly of him. So highly in fact, they have brought him in twice for personal workouts. The first scenario is if the Magic take Marcus Smart. This would leave Dante Exum (or whoever else drops if Exum is taken earlier, but for the sake of argument I’m assuming it is Exum) on the board for the Jazz to draft. I believe if that is the case the 5th pick is a no-brainer and they take Exum. How they could then maximize the draft would be a trade with Boston. Pretty much anytime an analyst discusses teams that would be willing to trade a lottery pick the Celtics are one of, if not the first teams mentioned. My proposed trade would be Enes Kanter and the 23rd pick for the 6th pick. This would allow the Jazz to then draft Noah Vonleh and pair him next to Favors. With the Jazz viewing Favors as a Center I believe they are looking to trade Kanter. Packaging Kanter with the 23rd pick will allow the Jazz to draft a player in Vonleh who has range on his jumpshot, and can help protect the rim. Favors and Vonleh could eventually become the best defensive tandem in the league and Jazz fans can finally stop watching teams drive to the basket with no fear of their shot being blocked. They would also gain a 6’6″ point guard, who many believe would be in the discussion for the 1st pick had he played a year in college. Exum may very well be the next great point guard in the NBA. Pair Exum with Alec Burks, Gordon Hayward, Vonleh, and Derrick Favors and the Jazz would have a very formidable starting 5 in a couple of years. Then players such as Gobert coming off the bench would still provide the Jazz with a rim protector at all times during the game.

Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The second scenario is what happens if the first four players off the board are Embiid, Parker, Wiggins, and Exum. The Jazz would then select Vonleh with the 5th pick. The Jazz would then trade Kanter to the 76ers for the 10th pick and select Stauskas if available. If not then select McDermott. This would give the Jazz a lights out shooter they have not had since Korver left the team. Stauskas would keep defenses honest and allow the rest of the team to work without being doubled. Then if another player, say Burks gets hot and does demand a double team Stauskas has the ability to consistently make them pay. Additionally, the Jazz would be able to keep the 23 pick and simply take the best player available. This would give them chance to improve the bench, or select a young talented  european prospect they can stash for a year or two until they are ready to come over.

Either one of these trades will allow the Jazz to improve their team, while only having to part ways with one of their “core” players. Losing Kanter would hurt as I seem his as a potential 20/10 player. However, he is not a power forward and with the Jazz expressing their desire to play Favors at center I believe it opens up the door for Kanter to be traded either way. This allows them to trade a valuable asset, but have him replaced by a player with much greater potential all around. The Jazz would then need to add some veteran players through free agency and let Snyder develop the young players and in a couple of years the Jazz will begin to see the benefits of these deals.

Which Scenario Would be Best for the Jazz

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Tags: NBA Draft NBA Draft Lottery Utah Jazz

  • tck62

    On a side note Jason Richardson just picked up his $6.6 Million player option with the Sixers, with the Jazz having lots of cap, why not offer the Sixers Kanter, #5, #23 a top 7 protected Jazz #1 for 5 years and the Warriors 2017 unprotected #1 for the #3 pick and Richardson’s contract ?

    This would leave the Jazz with a starting 5 of Favors, Gobert, Wiggins/Parker, Burke, Burks and lots of cap to fill out the bench and a nice sign and trade asset in Hayward.

    • Brandon Dennis

      That would be an interesting scenario. My only concern with that would be they had better be 100% sure that either Wiggins or Parker is a franchise changing superstar. That is simply a LOT to give up to move up 2 spots in the draft. 3 first round picks and a young player who could potentially be a 20/10 caliber player.

      I also think the 76ers are the least likely to trade their pick. They essentially traded anyone with a pulse for pennies on the dollar. All of that was done to put themselves in the position they are in now in being able to pick one of the potential franchise players.

      Interesting scenario though, thanks for posting. The good thing about the Jazz is given their position in the draft, trade pieces, and cap space they could go in so many different directions in trying to improve the team. I’m excited to see what happens!

    • aussiejazzfan

      Ok mate below kinda likes it but me nah I don’t. Wayyyyyyy too much given for what we receive. Way too much mate.

      • tck62

        Aussie is it really too much ? How many young guys can the Jazz develop at one time ? Without the draft factoring in the entire starting 5 is young developmental players, if we keep all three picks that makes 8 young guys plus Gobert, Evans and Clark ? That’s 11 players on your roster and no vets to learn from. I think Leonard took off so fast in this league because he had Parker, Ginobili, Duncan and Pop to learn from. Richardson has been hurt for a year but when healthy he’s a crafty vet. At most the team can afford to only add one young player to the mix.

        • Brandon Dennis

          Although the Jazz are young in age this will be the 5th season for Hayward and Favors and the 4th for Kanter and Burks. Granted they are still young and you’re absolutely correct they need to have some veterans on their roster, but I also don’t think it is mandatory if they are going to develop. Kevin Durant, Westbrook, and Harden all developed just fine without having a huge veteran presence on the team while they were younger.

          Although it does help to be able to learn how to play the game from Duncan, Parker, and Ginobli I don’t think that is why he took off so fast. The biggest reason is the culture of the Spurs. Leonard entered into a culture where you leave your ego at the door and do what it takes to win. In a league full of players looking to get theirs the Spurs have been able to create a culture where if you score 0 points, but you did your job and your team wins then who cares? This puts players in position to be successful, just look at how many easy points they get from players making an extra pass or two in order to set up teammates. I know everyone thinks their style is boring, but I find it fascinating to see them almost always make the right play for the team. Now granted it also helps when you have far and away the best coach in the game, but that wouldn’t matter if the players didn’t buy into the system and create that culture.

          You are right though. The jazz can’t keep adding young players year after year. My trade scenarios above only make the Jazz younger and less experienced, but I think in the long term they make the Jazz a better team. Especially if the first scenario plays out and they have Exum and Vonleh. That gives them two players who could potentially be franchise players. Then if one of them pans out that way it puts the Jazz in a position where they could be legit contenders as the young players learn to play together. Build that trust, so when they not only develop individually, but as a team. Then maybe bring in an old vet, who knows how to win in hopes that their mentality rubs off on the young players to where they begin to expect to win every time they step on the court and build that mental toughness.

          • tck62

            Watching the Spurs play is sort of like watching Mayweather box except he never loses.

          • aussiejazzfan

            The jazz will be be just fine with who they’ve got and in hope they draft well and get some more young talent, remember guys we have the free agency available aswell not just the draft. And we have lots of money, they could resign Jefferson and Marvin on the cheap or whatever my point is there is no need to get caught up in the now give em time

          • Brandon Dennis

            Free agency won’t bring in a star for the Jazz. The best the Jazz can hope for is a contributor. Top free agents either resign with their team or go to big markets. Jefferson is gone as he said he wants to go to a contender. Marvin is a solid pickup, but the Jazz need a star to have the ability to be contenders. without the best they can hope for is mediocrity.

          • aussiejazzfan

            I don’t want the jazz going after a superstar like you said they wouldn’t come anyway, BUT we should give our core a proper chance to develope and draft the best for the team, I don’t get down about stars not wanting to come to the jazz it’s reality but certainly we can develope them

        • aussiejazzfan

          I think the jazz can afford to bring them all along, and really why not last season they weren’t really developed and certainly two years even less so? That’s what a coach is for and they have a guy who has great experience doing just that to guys who’ve come strait out of high school. So I think your options are still way too much to give up

          • tck62

            It’s not just coaching but minutes on the floor as well.

          • aussiejazzfan

            True and Corbin sucked at managing the young guys minutes but snyder can do a better job, play the core until such time as one of them doesn’t deserve the minutes and then increase the relevant draftees time on the court and see if they can handle it any better

          • Brandon Dennis

            That is why I love the Snyder hire. He is a development specialist. He can definitely help the young players grow and reach their potential. The problem is aside from Burks nobody on the current roster has “lead a team to a championship” potential. That is what they are lacking and if trading up can give them that then it is worth it. I’m fine with watching Kanter tear it up for another team if it means the Jazz get a star and are contending each year for a title. The options aren’t to give up, but to see how to make your team better and a star is necessary in a star driven league.

          • aussiejazzfan

            I’ve been doing my homework and I’m very very pleased with the coach we have it seems finally we have a guy who can coach our youth and the youth coming in the draft. I hope they add value and not give up our 5th pick on anything based on unmeasurable potential of draftees I really don’t want to give up anything really from what I’ve seen whoever is drafted will find a nurturing home in Utah with a coach proven to improve them

          • Brandon Dennis

            I will be happy with the draft as long as they don’t trade back or out with the 5th pick. There are a lot of very good players at the top and even though the lottery screwed them over by dropping them to 5 and potentially missing out on Wiggins, Parker, Embiid, or Exum. From all the reports though it is looking like Vonleh is looking more and more like a guy who can be a star in this league. I also think Gordon can be a star, but that all depends on whether he can develop a shot.

      • Brandon Dennis

        At this point I agree it definitely is too much. However, what if Wiggins meets his potential and does turn into a franchise changing superstar? Or Parker becomes the next dynamic scorer in the league (and maybe learns to play a little defense). If either of these happens then the Jazz end up getting a steal in the trade. Obviously the problem is there are no guarantees that either of these happen. It would all depend on how confident the Jazz are that either player will be great. If they are confident, then no price is too steep as you have to have someone who can put the team on their back late in games and currently the Jazz don’t have anyone that has shown that ability. I do think Burks could potentially become that, but he needs to improve his 3 point shot if that is ever going to happen.

        • aussiejazzfan

          I guess that’s just it we don’t know, Potential and If’s abound with these guys so I prefer not too loose so much just for potential, it goes both ways and it’s worse, way worse when applied to youngs guys who played one season of college

          • Brandon Dennis

            All that would be given up in the trade tck62 proposed is potential. Right now Kanter is simply a young player with potential to be solid. The picks in the deal would be players with potential. What the Jazz would need to decide is how likely is the potential for Wiggins or Parker to be met and what it would mean if it was compared to the potential of what they are giving up. If the trade gives them the potential to be a better team then make the trade. If they think someone like Vonleh could be a star, then the trade makes no sense. It is all about how the front office perceives the ability and potential of these young players and how they can make the team better.

          • aussiejazzfan

            True it’s up to the FO, and it’s about the potential on offer and the potential we have already, I’m saying the potential of our core is far better understood then the potential of the college guys and I really don’t think it’s smart to givd up so much for those unknowns, particularly if it means giving up our core guys. Remember potential goes both ways and actually it’s not a measurable thing so really what we see is at the moment all we get and our core is quite good

          • Brandon Dennis

            The problem is that the potential of our core does not lead to a championship contending team. They have some nice pieces to a championship contending team, but without a star they will never get there. Just look at past NBA champions the only team you could argue that won without a star is the 2004 Pistons. Other than that you could even argue they need to have 2 stars to be able to win a championship. So if trading some of these pieces gives them the chance to land a potential star, then they should do it. Otherwise the current Grizzlies is about the best they can hope for. A very good team and a team nobody wants to play in the playoffs, but a team nobody takes seriously as a title contender.

          • aussiejazzfan

            Ok but again it is talk of potential I get annoyed that people get so caught up on it, there have been a lot if bust high in the draft and certainly lots of amazing players lower down hell even in the 2nd round so what we know is the guys we have a very good and can handle the nba, those in the draft we don’t know how they will cope, we really don’t know do we. Let’s draft where we draft and see if our young coach can improve them and see if competition for places improves the guys aswell. Remember if this finals has shown us anything it’s that you NEED to have a great bench not just amazing starters

          • Brandon Dennis

            All we have at this point is potential and that includes Kanter. My response to anonmymoussource I mentioned in another post must have been too long because I’m not seeing it. Basically he mentioned advanced statistics for Kanter and both he and you have said he can play PF. First off, advanced statistics say that so far in his career he has been average, at best. His PER is 15.7

            If you aren’t familiar with PER it is a statistic that takes all major statistics into account and factors them into a per 48min, so you can compare role players to starters who play different min. The argument against PER is it favors offensive players, so for Kanter he should have an inflated PER, but is only average. (15 is average, 16.5=third option, 18=solid 2nd option, 20=borderline all-star, 22.5=All-Star, 25=Weak MVP candidate, 27.5=Strong MVP Candidate, etc). Then when you look at each position he has a PER of 15.1 when he plays PF and 16.3 at C. Not a huge difference, but there is one. The problem is defensively when he guards a C his opponents have a PER of 20.1 or he makes the other teams center look like a borderline all-star, which sucks. BUT, when he when he guards PFs they have a PER of 27.7!!!! He makes opposing PFs look like strong MVP candidates!! You simply can’t have that and expect to win.

            Then looking at win shares. Win shares give a number of how wins a player contributes to the season. Kanter had a win share of 2.2, which sucks and there are over 200 players with a better win share. Defensively he has a win share of 0.9, which also sucks and over 200 players are better. Offensively he is a little better with 1.3, but 179 other players still rank higher, so it still sucks.

            Kanter has not done anything in the NBA to make you think he can be great. Sure he has had some very good games, but a good game here and there does not a great player make. He got destroyed when he played PF, so yes if the Jazz are planning on playing Favors at C they should shop Kanter around to see what they can get for him and if they can get a good return then trade him

  • polljc

    I like the first scenario. However, remember the Jazz are notorious for keeping it close to the vest and surprising everyone.
    Also, they could trade up to the 16th pick from the 23rd and take Stockton again. ;)

    • Brandon Dennis

      Yeah the Jazz are notorious for keeping it close to the vest, which on one hand makes it more fun to be able to speculate what they are going to do. On the other it would be nice to be thrown a bone every now and again.

  • aussiejazzfan

    Keep kanter he is and plays like a forward, I trullyb don’t know what the hell people saw when they say he’s a center. Draft Vonleh and rotate him through both positions and keep bringing the Frenchy along by rotating him through the 5 maybe move the 23rd and 35th to draft round 10-16 then get stauskas, start him and keep burks off the bench.

    • Brandon Dennis

      I don’t think Kanter is athletic enough to play PF. A PF needs to have a post game, but also needs to be able to face up and take his man to the rim, and Kanter is just not quick enough. Also, he struggled defensively when playing center last year, now if you move him to PF he will struggle even more. That is why I think the Jazz are looking to trade Kanter. If they view Favors as a center, then it makes Kanter expendable.
      Also, I don’t see the 23rd and 35th pick being enough to get the Jazz anywhere near high enough to draft Stauskas. That would be enough to move them up to maybe 20 and there Stauskas is all but guaranteed to be long gone by then.

      • aussiejazzfan

        Ok I hear ya on kanter but he is definatly a 20/10 type player and can okay defense as he showed at times and certainly two seasons ago, why get rid of him? Maybe we can’t get stauskas but I’m not concerned if we can’t it’s just an idea

        • Brandon Dennis

          You get rid of him if you think you can get something better, or something that will make the team better. With the Jazz viewing Favors as a center it makes Kanter expendable, especially if they draft a PF. If the Jazz are unable to put together a deal that makes the team better than they should keep him. If they are, then trade him.

          • aussiejazzfan

            Very sensable however I feel that kanter is a 4 mostly on offense and can defend the 5 on D, favors can defend both positions but is a 5 on offense ( he can’t yet shoot it like kanter). But you are correct If they can ADD value then do something, just don’t make changes to end up equal or certainly don’t give up lots of what we have for imagined potential, it’s just not a measurable tangible

          • Brandon Dennis

            That is all I’m saying. If the Jazz can get something for Kanter in which they feel will make the team better in the long run, then trade him. If not then don’t. I don’t want to see him simply get rid of him for whatever they can get. I simply think there are scenarios where they can trade Kanter and improve as a team long term.

        • anonymoussource

          Kanter is absolutely going to be a beast. Check out his Per 36 at 17 pts and 11 rbs with respectable defense. When he finally was given time to either start or play with a real PG (Trey), he was a force…check out those advanced stats. The whole time I was waiting for Favors and Hayward to become stars, and I think when it is all said and done, Kanter and Burks may be the more likely stars.
          So why on earth would we trade Kanter and a pick for the 10th pick? Vonleh is not an upgrade.

          • aussiejazzfan

            Good on ya mate it’s good to see others think the same about kanter

          • Brandon Dennis

            I replied yesterday, but it was apparently too long since it is not here anymore. I will sum it up for you then. You want to go with advanced statistics? Fine, I will go there, but they aren’t pretty for Kanter.

            Yes, per 36 he averages 17/11, but how much does he help the team win? His win shares is only 2.2, which is terrible. There were over 200 players last season with a higher win share. His defensive win share is 0.9, which also sucks and over 200 players were better last season. His offensive win share was a little better, but was still 1.3 and 179 players had a higher offensive win share last year, so it still sucks. Simply put, he simply didn’t help the team win. Who cares how many points he scores if he isn’t helping them win.

            Now lets look at PER. PER takes all major statistics and gives a composite score for the players overall game and even breaks it down per 48 min so reserves can be compared to starters. PER is broken down like this a score of 15 is average, 16.5=third option, 18=solid 2nd option, 20=borderline all-star, 22.5=All-Star, 25=Weak MVP candidate, 27.5=Strong MVP Candidate, etc. Last season Kanter had a PER of 15.7, meaning he was average.

            Now you try to say he can play PF and isn’t a bad defender? Lets use PER to see how he did at each position. When he played C he had a PER of 16.3, but his opposing teams C averaged a PER of 20.1. Meaning He as a slightly above average C, but made the opposing teams C look like a borderline All-Star. HOWEVER, when he played PF he had a PER of 15.1 and his opponents averaged 27.7!!!!! He was an average PF, but made the opponent look like a strong MVP candidate!!!! Can’t have that and expect to win many games.

            Additionally, the Jazz averaged 103.2 points per 100 possessions with Kanter on the court and 105.5 when he was OFF the court. Meaning they were 2.2 pts better offensively when he didn’t play and he is an offensive player! They also gave up 115.7 pts per 100 possessions with him on the court and it dropped to 109.3 when he was OFF. Meaning they gave up 6.4 fewer points when he was out. They were worse both offensively and defensively when he was out. Why then would you be so opposed to them trading him? Up to this point he hasn’t shown anything to say he will be a beast other than a game here and there, but overall he has shown he is an average player that can’t play defense. And I even like Kanter and think he could be a solid player in the league, but I think the Jazz can upgrade the team long term with one of the trades I listed in the article. Losing Kanter and adding Vonleh or Stauskas makes the team better long term.

        • Brandon Dennis

          My response to anonymoussource below is why he is a terrible defender and should look to trade him. I’m not saying look to get rid of him, what I am saying is look to upgrade using Kanter in a trade.

          • aussiejazzfan

            Ok bloke I hear what your saying do you think it’s possible the jazz can really get someone better than the big Turk and if so who and how, I’m not challenging you just asking because I’m very high on kanter however IF we can get a absolute upgrade then ok

    • IDJazzman

      Ditto!